Patrick Vieira, who was appointed in the summer to succeed Roy Hodgson, spent his first transfer window pinpointing the ageing nature of the squad he inherited, and in his second window he is now speculated to add another young player to his squad, who currently sit 11th in the Premier League.
Football Scotland has reported today that they understand Crystal Palace are interested in signing Dundee United wonderkid, Kerr Smith, to link up with their U23’s squad.
Palace already snapped up former Dundee academy player, Scott Banks, in the 2020 winter transfer window and are now reportedly set to pay a fee to secure the signing of the 17-year-old defender, hailed “fantastic” by his teammate, Mark Connolly, who is currently on loan to Dunfermline.
Despite Football Scotland reporting that the south London club want to add Smith to their U23’s, the youngster has experience playing first-team football for his Scottish Premiership side, with seven appearances including two in the league cup so far this season.
Thus, it could give him an advantage when it comes to featuring and integrating into Vieira’s first team side.
If Smith could continue to progress, he could follow in the footsteps of fellow Scotsman and legendary Crystal Palace midfielder, James McArthur, who joined the side back in 2014, back when the young Dundee player was only 10 years old.
McArthur has cemented himself as a fan favourite at the London club, with the 34-year-old offering 238 appearances, 19 goals and 24 assists from his central midfield position over the last seven years.
Smith will surely be hoping to have a career that could match or even exceed that of his Scottish peer and signing for Crystal Palace this January could give the teenager the path to progress and put him in the right direction to reach his potential in top-flight football playing south of the border in the Premier League.
It is clear that Vieira is focused on bringing the average age down in his squad, with the club becoming officially the oldest team in the Premier League just six months ago with an average age of 29.9 years.
However since the Frenchman’s arrival, and his work during the summer transfer window, he has managed to bring it down to 28 years moving them from first into the sixth oldest out of the 20 clubs in the league, thanks to the signings of Michael Olise, Marc Guehi, Conor Gallagher and Odsonne Edouard.
The addition of Smith would only improve this, providing them with a promising option who could be their next McArthur.
In other news: Will Hughes solving Vieira’s big conundrum